Monday November 28 2011
Mazzarri defends tired Napoli

Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri wouldn’t be surprised to drop more points against Juventus on Tuesday evening.

The two teams meet at the Stadio San Paolo tomorrow after the Week 11 tie was originally postponed because of flooding around the club’s arena.

“For us this is our fourth consecutive game played within two days of the previous one,” the tactician stated on Monday.

“We got back from Bergamo at two o’clock in the morning on Sunday and yesterday we were back on the training field.

“This means that you are going to drop points.”

While Juventus have only had Serie A to focus on, the Azzurri are coming to terms with domestic and Champions League commitments.

“I’ve heard that Juventus boss Antonio Conte is also worried about the lack of time he’s had to prepare for this game,” the former Livorno boss continued after his side’s 1-1 draw at Atalanta.

“[Champions League participants] Bayern Munich lost at the weekend against a much weaker side, Manchester City drew and even Barcelona were defeated…”

This morning Conte hailed Napoli as a club to mirror and Mazzarri thinks the Bianconeri have done exactly that.

“I think Conte has copied us in some form,” he added. “I’ve seen that his Juventus side is very similar to my Napoli in certain phases of the game.

“They are not top of the table by chance.

“Juventus will certainly respect us, but my side is made up by proud players.”

The ex-Sampdoria man concluded the Press conference by defending the performances of Marek Hamsik, the attacking midfielder who has scored just twice this term.

“Marek is a midfielder and isn’t required to score goals,” Mazzarri commented. “He’s asked to take part in both phases of the game.

“Sometimes I also ask him to pay close attention to an opponent, so I therefore evaluate him for his overall performances in attack and defence.”

Napoli, eighth in the table, are nine points behind Juventus.

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